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What is the best textbook for studying Quantum Mechanics?

  1. Oct 15, 2007 #1
    I am passionate about physics. I have had ordinary differential equations, linear algebra, single, multivariable calculus and mathematical statistics. Before I study Quantum Mechanics, I plan on studying classical mechanics, electrodynamics and waves. I plan to use MIT's "Opencourseware" to study physics. Why does MIT use 7 different QM textbooks for QM II and III? What is the best QM textbook?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2007 #2


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    The best book is the one that suits you best :smile:
    Because no book is exactly tailored to your specific needs and tastes, you will have to look into several different books. And the optimal mix will be different from person to person...

    Personally, I liked the old "Messiah" a lot (except for the last chapters in Vol II which are a bit outdated) as starters.

    Eh, and yes, you first need to know rather well classical mechanics and electromagnetics before jumping on the quantum train...
  4. Oct 16, 2007 #3
    Shankar does a pedagogically excellent job covering the basics and includes some advanced topics (like path integrals) as well. A good content/price value.

    I also like a pleasant little book, Lectures on Quantum Mechanics: Basic Matters by Berthold-Georg Englert. He inductively "derives" the rules of QM from Stern-Gerlach experiments. Englert's book seems to be based on Julian Schwinger's writings, but is a much easier read.
  5. Oct 16, 2007 #4


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    I liked Schiff. But that's just me.
  6. Oct 16, 2007 #5
    I like Claud-Cohen Tannoudji. Every man to his own. So no one else can pick the best book
    for you.
  7. Oct 16, 2007 #6
    J.J. Sakurai and P.A.M. Dirac are all that one needs
  8. Oct 17, 2007 #7
    I still haven't seen a well organized physics book of any kind. Or math book for that matter. They mix everything together in one long explanation. It's like taking a large plate of very well prepared foods of various kinds, and mixing it all together. Sure all the good stuff is still there; but you have to pick through it to find what you want. I would like to see physics and math books setup more like a discussion for one part and then the next part (of the same section in the chapter) will just be more like a reference book. Oh and more pictures (I'm a visual learner). Anyone know of any physics books like that? :D
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